Budgeting For a Move Out: How Much Does It Cost?

Budgeting For a Move Out: How Much Does It Cost?

Whether you are a student moving out of your parents’ home for the first time, moving in with a partner after living with roommates, or moving to a new state for your dream job, moving is part of life. But moving is never simple.

The effort and time it takes to declutter your belongings, pack them up, physically move them, and unpack them are daunting. There is also the administrative and logistic aspect. For example, you’ll need to find a new place to live, notify your existing landlord or property manager, change your mailing address, set up new utilities, and book a moving truck.

It’s no wonder that moving is one of the most stressful events you can experience! Most of these tasks cost money, and if you haven’t budgeted properly for your move-out, not having enough money to cover your expenses can compound the stress.

So just how much does it cost to move out of state or locally?

Pro Tip: One of your biggest concerns during a move will be setting up rent payments with your landlords. Checks or standard bank deposits can be hard to track and manage for everyone involved. Talk to your new landlord about Baselane’s Rent Collection tool and find out how you can make rent payments easier and stress-free.

1. Moving Vehicle Rental Costs

Moving your belongings from your old rental to your new place has several options. Which one you pick depends on several factors like availability, the distance you are moving, and available funds. First, you could opt to rent a truck and move your belongings yourself. A famous company for this is UHaul, and you can expect to pay about $38.70 + $0.99/mile for a local move, with an average of $1,945 for a long-distance move.

You could also hire movers, which are more expensive but will make your move easier. The cost of hiring movers depends on whether you are moving locally or over a long distance. For a short-distance move, expect to pay around $1,400. Moving out of state costs between $2,200 and $5,700.

2. Materials Cost

Moving your stuff means you’ll need to buy boxes to keep everything safe in transit. If you hire movers, they may provide some of these items. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy:

  • Cardboard boxes of various sizes
  • Packing tape and a dispenser
  • Furniture protectors
  • A furniture dolly
  • Permanent markers to label boxes

While you may not need every item on this list, you can expect to spend between a few hundred dollars and $1,000.

3. Cleaning Supplies

It’s your responsibility as a tenant to leave your old apartment in clean condition for the next occupants. To do so, you may need to purchase some cleaning supplies, including:

  • Broom or vacuum to dust and clear cobwebs from corners
  • Window wash and paper towels to wash windows and mirrors
  • Spackle to fill nail holes from hanging picture frames
  • Mop and cleaner to clean floors and baseboards
  • All-purpose cleaner to clean cupboards and refrigerator
  • Oven cleaner to clean the oven

You can expect these move-out cleaning costs to run a few hundred dollars if you don’t have items like a mop or vacuum. Otherwise, the average cost of moving out cleaning is $100.

4. Costs to Set Up Utilities

Whenever you move to a new rental, you’ll need to close out old utilities in your previous rental and set up utilities at your new location. Your lease will cover which utilities are your responsibility and which are those of your landlord. Some examples include:

  • Electricity
  • Internet
  • Rental insurance
  • Fuel (natural gas, propane, or oil)
  • Water
  • Security
  • Rent collection

Keep in mind that some utilities may require a deposit to open an account if you don’t have a good credit score. These deposits are typically a few hundred dollars each, which can add up if you have several accounts to open.

5. New Registrations

Moving from one state to another, you’ll need to update your registrations to reflect your new address. Here are some registrations you’ll need to change:

  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration
  • Car insurance
  • IRS
  • Voter registration
  • Social security

You can make most of these registration changes at the DMV.

6. Change of Address

You may also consider forwarding your mail to your new address, also known as a change of address (COA). Forwarding your mail lets the postal service know that any mail addressed to your old address should be sent directly to your new address.

Mail forwarding is a good short-term solution, but you should still take steps to update your address with your service providers. You can set up a COA at no cost by submitting the request in person, or you can do so online for $19.95 for six months or $29.95 for 18 months.

7. Layover Housing and Storage

Occasionally you can’t move directly from your rental to another, and you are left in a situation where you need to move out before your new lease starts. In this case, you’ll need to find housing in the interim and storage for your belongings.

This situation can arise and last a few days or a few weeks. For a few days, you may need to stay in a hotel, and you may be able to store your belongings with a moving company. For longer, accommodations like Airbnb let you live in a home with a functioning kitchen and laundry services. In this case, moving your belongings into long-term storage will be more labor intensive but also more cost-effective.

Final thoughts

Moving is a challenging time for anyone. But, if you have a plan in place, you can avoid the stress and focus on the excitement of moving to a new home or even a new state. Make a checklist of extra costs you can expect using the list above, and you can be more confident that you understand the full price of your move.

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How much should you budget to move on average?

The cost of moving depends on various factors, the biggest of which are distance and the size of your home. As you can imagine, the average cost to move out of your parents' house and around the corner is far less than the cost to move into a four-bedroom house across the country. On average, you can expect to pay $1,500 for a local move and $4,000 for a long-distance move.

What happens if I arrive and the old tenants are still there?

It is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure the old tenants have moved out of your rental promptly. However, if you arrive and the old tenants are still there, your first call should be to your landlord or property manager.

Will my new apartment be cleaned when I arrive, or should I plan on cleaning?

The old tenants are responsible for leaving your apartment clean when they move out; if they don’t, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the apartment is clean. That said, although the apartment may be considered “clean,” it may not be up to your standards. Therefore, you might want to plan to do some additional cleaning after you move into the space.

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Financial Technology, Real Estate Investing, and Property Management, Accounting and Tax, Finance
Saad started his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working for a top-tier accounting firm. He was responsible for helping audit alternative investment funds. He later worked at a hedge fund where he was responsible for preparing financial statements and implementing new technology. He also ran a successful private tax practice for five years.

After completing his MBA at Duke, Saad joined The Boston Consulting Group to do management consulting. At BCG his experience spanned several industries and growth projects across Pharma, Retail, and Technology companies. His passion for democratizing finances led him to Plaid, a fintech, where he worked with large Banks and Financial Institutions to make finances and money easier for all.
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Budgeting For a Move Out: How Much Does It Cost?
Budgeting For a Move Out: How Much Does It Cost?

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